Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles and Allan Saint-Maximin are the two players suffering from ‘long-term Covid’ following the club’s mass outbreak.
Steve Bruce revealed on Friday that he was concerned for the health of two of his squad, but he did not name them.
However, the club has now confirmed the identity of Lascelles and Saint-Maximin after internet rumours of the pair being involved in a bust-up with Bruce circulated over the weekend.
Newcastle say this is not the case and their recent absence is explained by the after-effects of coronavirus.
Bruce had said: ‘My thoughts are with the two players, and the welfare of them. It’s frightening when you think they are young and fit and absolutely supreme athletes. If anybody needs reminding of how serious this is, then we have witnessed it.
‘We’ve had vomiting, sores, mouth ulcers, no smell, no taste, but the big thing, and which is worrying, is the welfare of one or two of them. It’s not great at all.
‘That long-term Covid is something which you wouldn’t think possible in young, fit athletes. Unfortunately, it is so.
‘They go for a walk for half an hour and then they want to go back to bed.. It’s as brutal as that.’
Lascelles was at St James’ Park to watch Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Fulham but he, like Saint-Maximin, will miss Tuesday night’s EFL Cup quarter-final at Brentford. They are not expected to return until the New Year.
Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles (L) is one player at club who is suffering from long Covid
Saint-Maximin posted this picture on Instagram on Monday after the news emerged
Saint-Maximin’s previous post on Instagram was of him watching on, dated November 29
Lascelles, pictured with partner Harpinder Rai, hasn’t played for the Magpies since November
Steve Bruce said the infected players cannot walk for 30 mins without going back to bed
Victory would take Newcastle into their first League Cup semi-final for 44 years. Bruce continues to take criticism from supporters unhappy with performances, but he said: ‘I always expected it to be tough. Why wouldn’t it be when I have people like Graeme Souness and Kenny [Dalglish] ringing to tell me how tough it is?
‘Do I just think I’m going to come in here and wave a magic wand and say, “I’m going to put my sprinkle of stardust on it”? That’s what it is, it’s a tough gig, so if I can take the club to a semi-final… but then you want to get to the final.’
Bruce, though, has not been impressed with recent displays, the Fulham draw coming on the back of a 5-2 defeat at Leeds.
‘The one thing we are going to have to do is play better than we have done in the last week, and that’s the biggest concern,’ he said.
‘Look, I’ve worked with them long enough now and as I’ve said many times, they might lack a little bit of quality now and again and give the ball away too cheaply at times, but the one thing you can’t level at them is their attitude to stay with it.’
Fans wished the Newcastle pair well following the news they are still suffering from Covid-19
Saint-Maximin, who joined Newcastle from French side Nice last year, is a father of three
Lascelles, pictured with his parents Tim (right) and Jill (centre) back in 2017, has been at Newcastle for six years
Lascelles and Saint-Maximin pictured at the club’s training ground on November 11 this year
The most common long Covid symptoms include fatigue, a persistent cough, headaches and loss of taste and smell
An Office for National Statistics report suggests 9.9 per cent of Brits who beat coronavirus still suffer from the lasting effects of the disease 12 weeks later
LONG COVID: WHAT IS IT AND COULD IT BE FOUR DIFFERENT SYNDROMES?
Covid-19 is described as a short-term illness caused by infection with the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Public health officials tend to say people will recover within two weeks or so.
However it’s become increasingly clear that this is not the case for everyone, and that the two-week period is only the ‘acute illness’ phase.
The North Bristol NHS Trust’s Discover project, which is studying the longer-term effects of coronavirus, found that out of a total of 110 patients given a three-month check up, most (74 per cent) had at least one persistent symptom after twelve weeks. The most common were:
- Excessive fatigue: 39%
- Breathlessness: 39%
- Insomnia: 24%
- Muscle pain: 23%
- Chest pain: 13%
- Cough: 12%
- Loss of smell: 12%
- Headache, fever, joint pain and diarrhoea: Each less than 10%
Other long term symptoms that have been reported by Covid-19 survivors, both suspected and confirmed, anecdotally, include hearing problems, ‘brain fog’, memory loss, lack of concentration, mental health problems and hair loss.
The impact of Long Covid on people who had mild illness have not been studied in depth yet.
Data from the King’s College London symptom tracking app shows that up to 500,000 people in the UK are currently suffering from the long-term effects of Covid-19.
In October, scientists claimed Long Covid could actually be split into four different syndromes.
Academics at the National Institute for Health Research — headed up by England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor
Their findings warned that even children can suffer and it can’t be assumed that people who are at lower risk of severe illness and death from Covid-19 are also at low risk of lasting side effects.
Doctors cautioned some mental health problems such as anxiety and depression in ‘long-haulers’, as they are known, could be down to lockdowns, as opposed to the virus itself.
The experts also claimed that the symptoms could be grouped into four different groups:
- Post intensive care syndrome (PICS)
- Post viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS)
- Permanent organ damage (POD)
- Long term Covid syndrome (LTCS)
Meanwhile, Brentford boss Thomas Frank believes Ivan Toney will want to prove Newcastle wrong when they meet in Tuesday night’s clash.
The 24-year-old made just four appearances in three years for the Premier League side before dropping down the divisions. After joining Brentford from Peterborough this summer, however, he is the Championship’s top scorer with 16 goals in 20 appearances.
‘There are always situations in all of our careers that inspired us or irritates us enough to make sure we’re working hard every single day to try to prove some people wrong,’ Frank said. ‘I know Ivan has big ambitions and of course he’d like to prove he could have played in the Premier League.
‘He’ll play in the Premier League one way or another in the future, I’m not in doubt about that – with his mentality and hunger and abilities. But maybe this was the route for him.’
Brentford manager Thomas Frank believes Ivan Toney will be eager to prove Newcastle wrong